WORCESTER, MA – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) and local leaders celebrated National Bike Month with the installation of a new exhibit highlighting Worcester’s bicycle history and a new bicycle repair station. This exhibit is similar in construction and purpose to those being installed in the new Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center. Joining today’s event were Megan DiPrete, Blackstone River Heritage Corridor Executive Director; Worcester City Councilor George Russell; and leaders from the National Park Service and Holy Cross as well as neighbors and bike enthusiasts.
“With the opening of this bike repair station it will be that much easier and more fun for residents from across the region to enjoy the miles of bike trails in and around my district,” said Congressman Jim McGovern. “And of course, while folks are enjoying themselves riding through Worcester, now they have the opportunity to learn about the important role Worcester played in bicycle manufacturing and to learn about world champion bicycle racer Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor who came to Worcester in 1895.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the National Park Service and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for funding this project, and to the Blackstone Heritage Corridor for the staff coordination needed to make this project a reality,” McGovern added. “As someone who loves history and getting out in the fresh air, for me, this is an exciting addition to the Worcester landscape. I can’t wait to use the bike path to ride to the new Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center at Worcester that is currently under construction and scheduled to open next year.”
The new exhibit will help visitors to learn about the region’s history as well as providing necessary tools for bike maintenance and repair. The wayside exhibit will introduce the public to Worcester’s history of biking and the ever-growing network of bike paths. This will serve as a pilot to a long-range plan to create a number of such stations along the bikeway that support safe biking and highlights the history and ecology of the Blackstone River Heritage Corridor.
The Cycling/Repair station provides basic tools, a tire pump, and advice on prepping your bike for a safe ride. The colorful Exhibit is created from 2-inch COR-TEN steel, uses evocative images, and explores the history of biking in the Worcester area since the late 1800s. It also includes a life-size silhouette of trailblazing African-American athlete Marshall W. "Major" Taylor, 1899 world cycling champion, on a high wheel bike who looks like he may spring to life during the unveiling! The Blackstone Heritage Corridor is also spearheading the addition of over racks for about 115 bicycles and three repair stations in nine communities in the National Heritage Corridor.